Fourth-grade teacher Irma Garcia chose a few short lines to include on her school biography page, highlighting what she loved most: her husband, her four children and teaching.
“I love to BBQ with my husband,” she wrote on the Robb Elementary School website, among other details about her family, including the accomplishments of her two sons and two daughters.
Garcia was one of 21 people killed Tuesday by the 18-year-old gunman who walked into the Uvalde, Texas, school with a rifle and began shooting. Nineteen children and Garcia’s co-teacher, Eva Mireles, were also killed.
Two days after Garcia’s death, her husband, Joe, suffered a fatal heart attack, the Archdiocese of San Antonio told CNN. The pair’s family says he died of a broken heart.
“Joe and Irma Garcia were parishioners of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Uvalde, and Irma was a leader in a woman’s ministry there,” Jordan McMorrough, a spokesperson for the archdiocese, told CNN on Thursday evening.
The archbishop met with Joe Garcia on Wednesday afternoon, McMorrough said.
‘Joe died of a broken heart’
A GoFundMe campaign posted by Irma Garcia’s cousin said Joe Garcia died Thursday morning “of a medical emergency.”
“Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers,” the GoFundMe post said. “I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life of more than 25 years was too much to bear.”
Irma Garcia’s nephew wrote about the death of his aunt’s husband on Twitter.
“Lord god please on our family, my tias husband passed away this morning due to a heart attack at home he’s with his wife now, these two will make anyone feel loved no matter what they have the purest hearts ever I love you sm tia and tio please be with me every step of the way,” the tweet said.
CNN has reached out to the Garcia family for additional comment.
They were high school sweethearts
A separate GoFundMe set up by John Martinez, a nephew of Irma, described the two as “high school sweethearts” who were “loved by many.”
“The money will be used for any expenses needed for the future education of their children and for the family needs,” the campaign said.
The GoFundMe post, originally set up after Irma Garcia’s death and later updated, called the teacher “sweet, kind, loving,” and added she died protecting her students.
“She sacrificed herself protecting the kids in her classroom. She was a hero,” that campaign said.
Irma Garcia had been a teacher for at least 23 years, according to her school biography page. It was her fifth year co-teaching with Mireles, according to the website.